Fen­tanyl sur­faces in Cape Bre­ton

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Po­lice have now recorded their first seizure of the deadly opi­ate fen­tanyl.

Po­lice seized some 30-40 pills of the syn­thetic opi­oid Thurs­day af­ter a search of two homes in Glace Bay that also net­ted more than 7,000 other pills with a com­bined street value of $180,000.

“We knew there was a pos­si­bil­ity it (fen­tanyl) was in our area but now this is very con­cern­ing,” said po­lice spokesper­son De­siree Vas­sello.

She said the pills seized this week will be tested by Health Canada to con­firm the pres­ence of fen­tanyl which has cre­ated an opi­ate cri­sis in Canada as over­dose deaths across the coun­try con­tinue to mount.

Two Glace Bay res­i­dents have been charged in con­nec­tion with the drug and are sched­uled to re­turn to pro­vin­cial court Tues­day for bail hear­ings.

Charged are El­liot Ger­ard Gouthro, 43, of Cade­gan Drive, and Candice Mar­guerite MacIn­tyre, 31, of the same ad­dress.

Both are charged with five counts of pos­ses­sion for the pur­pose of traf­fick­ing in fen­tanyl, hy­dro­mor­phone, oxy­codone, dex­troam­phetamine and methylphenidate (Ri­talin).

They are also charged with pos­ses­sion of a weapon (a Mauser ri­fle) with no li­cence, pos­ses­sion of a pro­hib­ited weapon (an ASP ba­ton), care­less stor­age of am­mu­ni­tion and care­less stor­age of a ri­fle.

Gouthro is also charged with two counts of ut­ter­ing threats and four counts of breach­ing court or­ders by fail­ing to keep the peace, re­frain from us­ing a cell phone and two weapon pos­ses­sion counts.

At the time of his ar­rest Thurs­day, Gouthro was on re­lease con­di­tions

for un­re­lated of­fences. The fen­tanyl cri­sis be­gan on the West Coast and moved east and now Cape Bre­ton joins other At­lantic com­mu­ni­ties re­port­ing the drug sur­fac­ing in their ar­eas such as Hal­i­fax, Fred­er­ic­ton, N.B., and St. John’s, NL.

Vas­sello said po­lice are urg­ing drug users to ex­er­cise cau­tion in their street level drug pur­chases be­cause so many pills are now be­ing laced with fen­tanyl.

Ear­lier this year, the Ally Cen­tre of Cape Bre­ton is­sued a warn­ing con­cern­ing boot­leg oxy­codone pills that were cir­cu­lat­ing in the local area and re­port­edly con­tained fen­tanyl.

At time of the warn­ing, the cen­tre’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Chris­tine Porter said al­though oxy­codone hasn’t been pro­duced since 2012, coun­ter­feit pills were show­ing up lo­cally and drug users had no idea what the pills ac­tu­ally con­tained.

Pill presses to make the boot­leg pills can be pur­chased over the In­ter­net.

As part of na­tional strat­egy to com­bat the prob­lem, the cen­tre and re­gional po­lice are now equipped with nalox­one kits — a drug that tem­po­rar­ily re­verses the ef­fects of an opi­oid drug over­dose.

Vas­sello said all 202 of­fi­cers with the re­gional force now carry the kit.

She said since the be­gin­ning of the year, the kit was used to suc­cess­fully re­vive one po­ten­tial over­dose vic­tim.

Porter said the cen­tre of­fers train­ing for those us­ing such kits.

“You don’t have to come to us, we can come to you, and we can train right in your home,” said Porter.

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